STATE PENSIONS FATTEN WALLETS OF RETIRED ILLINOIS POLITICIANS

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Top 200 GARS Pensions

Retired Illinois politicians have become pension millionaires and are getting richer by the day, while Illinois taxpayers lose their jobs, get behind on their mortgages and have trouble paying their bills, according to the most recent study of state pensions by the Taxpayer Education Foundation (TEF).

“These bloodsuckers that raised state taxes billions of dollars, and then retired, are getting lavish, gold-plated pensions and benefits,” said James L. Tobin, economist and TEF president. “Their functionally-bankrupt state pension plan, the General Assembly Retirement System (GARS), like the other state pension plans, has been kept on life-support with billion-dollar increases in the state income tax.”

“Thanks to the tax increases that many of these reprobates voted for, the state is economically dying and has lost population six years in a row.”

For 2019 and 2020, two GARS pensions exceed $200,000. From 2019 to 2020, the number of pensions exceeding $100,000 has gone from 62 to 71, and the number exceeding $50,000 has gone from 218 to 221.

The highest annual pension, $265,428, goes to retired legislator Arthur L. Berman (D), the author of the failed Berman Tax Increase Amendment, which we helped defeat years ago. Berman’s total pension paid to date is $3,670,815.

A central figure responsible for much of the pension crisis is former governor James R. Thompson (R), one of the worst tax-raisers in Illinois history. Thompson currently receives an annual pension of $165,987. He has received a total pension to date of $3,219,842. His estimated lifetime pension payout is $3,385,829.

Former governor, Patrick J. Quinn Jr. (D), the so-called “reform” governor, currently receives an annual pension of $149,882. He has received a total pension to date of $694,733. His estimated lifetime pension payout is $3,255,658.

Former legislator and governor, James R. Edgar (R), receives a current annual pension of $175,952. He has received a total pension to date of $2,502,093, and his estimated lifetime pension payout is $4,755,649.

Edgar signed into law Senate Bill 3 in 1998, the biggest government pension increase in the history of Illinois. SB3 gave retired government teachers 75% of their salary at retirement, with annual compounded increases of 3 percent. SB3 will cost taxpayers $4.5 billion in 2020, which is 12% of the Illinois state budget!

The taxes to support these outrageous Illinois government pensions are driving taxpayers out of Illinois. Almost all of the last $5 billion-dollar state income tax increase was used to prop up the state pension funds. This is why Illinois governor Jay Robert “J. B.” Pritzker (D) wants to pass his Nov. 3. 2020 Income Theft Amendment, a massive state income tax increase for Illinois taxpayers. Instead of seeking pension reform, Pritzker wants another massive income tax hike.

Pritzker is destroying the Illinois economy. He wants to place more taxes on the backs of the state’s taxpayers, while he stubbornly enforces the Soviet-style state shutdown. Pritzker should explore significant reforms to the state’s bankrupt pension plans for retired government employees. He wasn’t elected to declare war on the state’s middle class.

ILL. GOV. PRITZKER MUST OPEN STATE AND CUT TAXES TO AVOID DISASTER

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Illinois Gov. Jay Robert “J. B.” Pritzker must begin to open up the State of Illinois and cut taxes, if the state is to avoid going under, according to James L. Tobin, economist and president of Taxpayers United of America (TUA).

“Pritzker is doing exactly the wrong things, and unless he changes course soon, Illinois is finished,” said Tobin.

“The governor is not a stupid man, but he certainly is acting stupidly. He just extended the coronavirus lockdown in Illinois to the end of May, and he stubbornly continues to support his Income Theft Amendment, a graduated state income tax designed to prop up the sick state government-employee pension funds. If approved, this amendment to the State Constitution would totally destroy Illinois’ middle class, put more minority and low-income residents out of work, and accelerate the exodus of taxpayers from Illinois to states with lower taxes.”

“Illinois private-sector businesses and residents need significant tax relief, and they need it now. They can’t go on forever supporting the lavish, gold-plated pensions of retired government employees, many of who retired in their middle fifties and will be paid to do nothing for decades.”

“The quality of life in Illinois is plummeting. The Illinois Policy Institute recently stated that ‘Illinoisans shoulder among the highest tax burdens of any state, and that should come with robust services. But soaring debt and pension costs have left too little room for the things residents need most from government.’ And things will get much worse if Pritzker has his way.”

“Pritzker wants to offset the state’s decline in revenue with a huge state income tax hike, but this would virtually eliminate any chance the state has of recovering a viable economy. According to the April 20 edition of Wirepoints, ‘Illinois enacting a progressive tax hike is like Sears attempting a turnaround by hiking prices.’ Illinois taxpayers must contact their elected representatives of both political parties and demand that they oppose Gov. Pritzker’s destructive policies.”

Red Light Camera Tax To Be Reigned In

Red Light Camera

A bi-partisan bill recently passed the Illinois House of Representatives that would ban red light cameras in non-Home Rule municipalities. The bill passed 84-4 on Wednesday and will now move to the Illinois Senate.

“Banning unreliable red-light cameras in non-Home Rule municipalities is a win for taxpayers, but Springfield can do better,” said Matthew Schultz, Executive Director of Taxpayers United of America (TUA). “The primary function of red-light cameras is to steal money from taxpayers with an indirect tax. If the bill becomes law, bureaucrats in non-Home Rule municipalities will be barred from imposing this tax.

“In fact,” added Schultz, “This provides a stronger reason for taxpayers to reject Home Rule in the March 17 election.”

“As TUA founder and President Jim Tobin has always said, Home Rule means home ruin. With Home Rule, local bureaucrats can run wild with tax increases.  Home Rule means bureaucrats are no longer  limited on how high property taxes can be increased; it robs taxpayers of the right to directly vote on tax increases; it puts a municipality on the path of creating a municipal income tax, and may be the only way a local government can introduce red light cameras.”

“Taxpayers need to reject Home Rule referenda and the upcoming state income tax increase in the election on November 3. Local and state governments need to learn to live within their means like taxpayers. The only way for taxpayers to get that message across is to defeat these huge tax increase measures whenever they are on the ballot.”